Kristin Weber is ready to fire in Cyclo-cross Nationals Masters 40 – 44
Today Kristin Weber will take full advantage of having just turned forty years-old when she lines up for the Masters 40 – 44 race at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships. It’s potentially an advantage to rank among the youngest in her age bracket, but that position also brings pressure to improve on the fifth place she earned as one of the oldest in her Masters 35 – 39 field last year.
She’s based her season around rising to the occasion.
“I feel like my big birthday present to myself was to go to Nationals and Worlds and have my best races,” Weber said in December. “So I put a lot of pressure on myself to really perform there and that’s been my end goal all season.” She designed her program to peak twice. The first peak she scheduled for three-quarters of the way through the season. After ten days off the bike she aimed to peak again for strong end-of-season results at these two big events.
Now in Verona for Nationals it’s time to find out if the plan will pay off. “I trained hard during these last few weeks and the only thing that is missing from my equation is the racing aspect to get to the best form possible,” Weber wrote in a message earlier this week.
“This is the same issue everyone has and in fact I feel lucky that BRAC put a race on to help bring the legs back to life…I feel strong. I managed to dodge the sickness bullet (which is no small feat with 3 school age kids) and now we just hope it all comes together.” [The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado ran New Year’s Resolution Cx on January 5th —ed.]
Weber also uses her mind to prepare. “I have been doing a lot of visualizing too as I have ridden this course a lot and I think that helps to know where your hard efforts need to be, where your passes can / should happen and where you might catch a quick breather.”
Weber rides for Boulder Cycle Sport. She is relatively new to the sport, having completed her first full ‘cross season in 2010. So the newbie experience is still relatively fresh for her and she enjoys helping women who are just getting into or exploring the sport. Weber and others affiliated with the Boulder Cycle Sport shops run a clinic for beginners from late summer through October.
“I like to foster an environment of inclusion in ‘cross and give people the opportunity to come and make mistakes and learn something new,” Weber wrote. “Also as a mom, I like to show people that really anything is possible after having kids…It is nice to train hard, push your body to do things you weren’t sure it could, and be successful – whether you land on the podium or not – everybody measures their successes differently. For a long while, a successful race for me was remounting my bike properly, so it’s baby steps.”
After such a dry ‘cross racing season in Colorado – Weber lives in Boulder, she can’t wait to compete in the messy conditions at the Nationals venue in Verona, Wisconsin.
“Thank god for the mud,” she wrote.
“I love the bad conditions, the mud, the snow, the sketchy ice is where I get to play out my advantages…as a runner and mountain biker.” She described the snow, ice, and slush in Colorado as similar to Wisconsin’s but called Wisconsin mud greasier, which means slippery. Recent snow in Colorado has afforded Weber and other Colorado ‘crossers the opportunity to train with it on the ground.
“So for me, I am psyched,” Weber wrote. “Now it’s about being smooth and skilled as well as being powerful, it’s not just a dirt crit like a lot of our season. In fact, I hope it rains. The more heinous the conditions the better.”
A few weeks ago the almost forty-year old Weber said she’s always surprising herself when it comes to the level at which she competes and the fitness she’s achieved. She became the state 35+ champion in her first season. This year as the most consistent rider in a series of local races, she won BRAC’s Colorado Cross Cup competition.